Religion

S.C. Lawmaker: Display 'In God We Trust' In Schools

| by Nicholas Roberts
'In God We Trust' on $20 bill'In God We Trust' on $20 bill

A state legislator in South Carolina is pushing to require the national motto, "In God We Trust," to be displayed in every public school in the state.

"I wish every school board or principal displayed the motto," Republican Rep. Alan Clemmons, the bill's sponsor, said, according to the Associated Press. "But they don't."

Clemmons said many schools will not display the motto unless the state tells them to. He added that he feels a school display would make more of a statement than use of the motto by an individual administrator or teacher.

The motto also recently made news in South Carolina after Sheriff John Perry of Saluda County announced his department would be the first in the state to use the national motto on police cruisers.

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"I firmly believe the safety of my deputies and even the county rests in a higher power," Perry said of the decision. "Regardless of their personal beliefs, I know my God will keep them safe as they protect our community."

Clemmons' bill has stalled in the South Carolina State House due to concerns over potential lawsuits and the fact that there are currently no restrictions on use of the motto in South Carolina schools. The tabling of the bill on March 8 represents a setback for it, according to the Hampton County Guardian.

The Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) is fighting the use of the motto as a public display in several states.

"To be accurate, this would have to say 'In God Some Of Us Trust,' and that would be a terrible motto," FFRF co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said, according to the AP.

Illinois and Pennsylvania are considering similar legislation to allow or require the motto in public buildings. Ten states already have such legislation in place: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.

Sources: Associated Press via KSL.comThe Hampton County Guardian / Photo Credit: Flickr/Shea Compton, Wikimedia Commons

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